Monthly Archives: May 2012

American Craft Beer Week, RVA Style

American Craft Beer Week officially starts on May 14 and runs until May 20.   This year Richmond will start the party early Friday with Midnight Brewery’s open house and Capital Ale House Anniversary beer double tapping.  Here are some details on other events to consider checking out during the week.

Saturday May 12th

Virginia Hops and Barley Fest

The second annual Virginia Hops & Barley Festival will feature over 30 craft beers from from twelve Virginia breweries.  This will be your first chance to try beers from Blue Lab Brewing, Big Daddy’s Brewing, and Midnight Brewery. Take a look at the complete beer list here.  Tickets are $15/person in advance or $20/person at door if available and include unlimited sampling of all the beers. Order tickets here.

Check out the Facebook event here.


Pins available at the festival:

  • O’Connor Dreamsicle- Green Can Golden Ale infused with Organic OJ & Vanilla
  • Legend Golden IPA dry hopped with Citra hops
  • Hardywood Bourbon Cru & dry hopped  double IPA.

Monday May 14th

ACBW Firkin Crawl

Head out for a pub crawl featuring beers from Legend, Mad Fox, and Victory.

Weezie’s Kitchen (5:30pm)
Beer: Legend Golden/Brown Ale blend, dry hopped with Sorachi Ace.

3123 W. Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23221

Commercial Taphouse (6:45pm)
Beer: Mad Fox ???? The exact beer from Mad Fox has not been decided but any beer from Mad Fox will be great.  I’m sort of hoping for their Orange Whip IPA.

111 N. Robinson St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Update: Looks like I’m getting a Mad Fox beer I’ve never had before!  Commercial Taphouse will be getting Mad Fox’s Broad Street IPA – 6.8% ABV aka Snap IPA, an American-style India Pale Ale that is brewed with 100% Centennial/CTZ hops from the Pacific Northwest and then dry-hopped with over 44lbs of Centennial/CTZ hops for an extra fresh hop punch. This beer has a fresh resiny herbal and citrusy grapefruit aroma that follows through to a tingling hoppy herbal bitterness in the finish. The British pale and German Vienna malts provide a biscuity malt sweetness that balances the hop bitterness.
Selba (8pm)
Beer: Victory Ranch R DIPA- 9% ABV DIPA with whole flower Centennial hops grown on Roy Farms in Yakima Valley.  Victory’s Ranch series is a rotating double IPA with hops sourced from one different farm for each batch.

2416 W. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23220

For your convenience, I’ve created a map with all the locations on it here.

Tuesday May 15th

Pales…In Comparison

Head out to Joe’s Inn in the Fan for a tap takeover celebrating the American Pale Ale. Here are the featured pales:

Legend Pale Ale
Devils Backbone 4 Point w/ single experimental hop
Heavy Seas Pale
Dale’s Pale
Southern Tier Pale
Southern Tier HopSun
Victory Headwaters
O’Connor Norfolk Canyon
Sierra Nevada Pale

205 North Shields Ave
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 355-2282

Hardywood Park Beer Dinner at The Blue Goat

I don’t have a menu for this one yet but if you’ve ever eaten at The Blue Goat, you know this dinner is a great idea.  Cost for the dinner is $50/person plus tax and tip.  Reservations are required so call the restaurant at (804) 288-8875 to RSVP.  Dinner starts at 7:30pm

Breckenridge Steal the Glass Night at Capital Ale House

Breckenridge Brewery is probably one of my favorite Colorado breweries just because of their Vanilla Porter. If you’re heading to Cap Ale for the evening, I would make sure to get one of these glasses to go.

Wednesday May 16th

Beer Theater: Goose Island

Celebrate the triumphant return of Wine & Beer Westpark owner Matty Lake’s Beer Theater in the Capital Ale House Downtown Music Hall starting at 5:30pm. Settle in to the Music Hall for a skype tasting with brewmaster Brett Porter featuring Sofie, Matilda, Pere Jacques, 312, Honkers, and IPA.  Cost for the tasting is $10/person.  Read more over at Facebook event here.

Goose Island Beer Dinner at Acacia Midtown
At first, I was worried about this beer dinner and beer theater being on the same night.  Fortunately, this dinner is being structured such that you can come in anytime Wednesday night from 5:30 -9pm and get this meal.  Take a look at the menu.


1st Course

Local Raw Oyster with Radish, Mandarinquat & Chive, Fluke Crudo with Foie Gras and Meyer Lemon Emulsion, Sea Bass Ceviche Peruvian Style with Red Pepper Gelee

2nd Course

Hop Spiced Pork Pate, Roasted Barley Crust, Edible Flowers

3rd Course

Almond Crusted Grouper, “Moules Frites”


Pepe Nero
Corned Beef Brisket, Pumpernickel Gnocchi, Coriander Veal Jus

Cost for the dinner is $30/person excluding tax & gratuity.  Call (804) 562-0138 for reservations.

2601 W Cary St
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 562-0138

Thursday May 17th

O’Connor Firkin Night

There will be three firkins from O’Connor Brewing in town Thursday night.  Head over to Station 2 to get Rad Nun (Red Nun Red Ale infused with Raspberries) or Brutella (Great Dismal Black IPA infused with Peanut Butter, Nutella, Chopped Hazelnuts and Dry-roasted Peanuts.

Meanwhile, The Camel will have a pin of Xocolat, Great Dismal with organic fair trade cocoa and ground cinnamon.

Friday May 18th

Taste the Local Tasting at Once Upon a Vine South

Head over to  the  Once Upon a Vine off Forrest Hill Ave to meet Virginia brewers and taste their beers. Be prepared to have a great time.  Tasting runs from 5 – 8pm.

Once Upon A Vine South
2817 Hathaway Rd
Richmond, VA 23225

More Fun than a Barrel of Virginians

Head out to Mekong for a wood and barrel aged beer bonanza featuring beers from Legend, Hardywood Park, Heavy Seas, Mad Fox, and more.

Sunday May 20th

Final event for the week is the Richmond Food Cart Derby at Historic 17th Street Farmers Market. 20+ food cart vendors, beer, music, and more.  I’ll have more on this as the date gets closer but I’ll say now you want to go to this.  Check out the Facebook event here.

Denton’s Handmade Bottle Openers

Nick Walthall, one of the assistant brewers at Hardywood, posted the photo of this bottle opener made by his dad, Denton, earlier today, May 10th.  Here’s what he had to say about it.

Denton is gonna be selling his hand made bottle openers up at the farmers market outside of Whole Foods today 4-7. They don’t damage caps so if you’re a cap collector like me they’re perfect. If nothing else go have a beer with Greg, Ana, and Paul.

So head out to Whole Foods Short Pump before 7pm and pick up one of these cool openers.

Capital Ale House Double Taps Anniversary Beers

Capital Ale House may have missed last month’s Anniversary beer tapping but they are making up for it with the tapping of two anniversary beers Friday May 11th at 6pm. 

First up is a Black IPA from Lancaster Brewing out of Pennnsylvania. Lancaster’s Black Boar IPA is the first of Cap Ale’s anniversary beers to come from out of state.  I have an affinity for Black IPAs so I am looking forward to getting the chance to try it. 

The second anniversary beer to be tapped  will be from Blue & Gray Brewing of Fredericksburg, VA. Their Kollaboration Kolsch, brewed by Richmond native David Achkio, is described as “a refreshing golden ale, hopped with Saaz and Splatz.  It’s bright, with a light delicate body.  A great session beer for the warmer weather, it is a straightforward fresh Kolsch, true to its German origins accentuated by the noble hop character.”

Both beers will available at all Cap Ale locations starting at 6pm Friday.   Go out and try these beers while you can.

Richmond Beer Lovers Celebrates Two Years

Richmond Beer Lovers, a local Meetup group, celebrates their two year anniversary today.  Over the past two years, they have grown to over 600 members and have held close to 100 events.  They will be having their anniversary party Saturday May 12th at Capital Ale House Innsbrook at 7pm.  Want to learn more about them? Join the Meetup group here or check them out on Facebook.  Congrats on two years guys. Keep up the good work.

Midnight Brewery Open House This Friday

Midnight Brewery invites you to their open house this Friday May 11th from 4 – 8pm.  One of the beers you get to taste will be their collaboration with Hardywood, Banana Pancake.  Watch as RVA Buzz films them talking about brewing this hefeweizen.

Head over to the Facebook event for more information.  Welcoming a new brewery to the area sounds like a perfect way to kick off American Craft Beer Week!

2410 Granite Ridge Rd
Rockville, VA 23146

Scoop: Beer Vs Wine Dinner at Peter Chang China Cafe

Needless to say, Peter Chang’s arrival in Richmond has excited foodies in town so much that they don’t mind driving to Short Pump just to feel the burn of his unique Szechuan cuisine.  I’ve tried to get a seat in the new restaurant but I couldn’t handle the two hour wait.  I thought I’d wait until the crowds died down until I would try again.  Turns out I will be there sooner rather than later because Peter Chang is hosting a Beer vs Wine Dinner on Sunday, May 27th

This is not my first time hearing about this dinner concept. The idea of this concept and who in town could throw such a dinner were my main reasons for starting this blog.  I am incredibly excited that Peter Chang’s China Cafe  has chosen to do this for their inaugural dinner event.  The dinner will be in the style of a traditional Chinese banquet served family style.  After heavy appetizers, each family style course will be paired with beer and wine samples.  Dinner participants will vote on a winner for each course, beer or wine.

Presenters for the dinner will be Bartholomew Broadbent of Broadbent Selections, Ben Petty of Brown Distributing and Genevelyn Steele of Dionysos Imports.

Heavy starters followed by a four course feast with beer and wine, Richmond may just implode from all of the excitement.  Cost for the dinner is $80/person.

Secco’s Beer Breakfast Goes Local

After the success of their first beer breakfast, Secco Wine Bar is doing another one Sunday May 6th.  This time Beer Breakfast 2.0 will feature a pin of Hardywood Mocha Belgique spiked with a pound of their house blend of Lamplighter coffee.  They will have Evil Twin Biscotti Break on hand as well.  That’s two great porters to go with Secco’s delicious food.  Oh, I had to look up just what Scotch eggs were; hard boiled eggs wrapped with meat (normally pork sausage), coated with bread crumbs and deep fried! Take look at the rest of the menu.


House-made corned beef and potato hash with a soft egg
Brioche with house-made butter and raspberry preserves
Strata with asparagus, mushrooms, ramps and gruyere
Scotch eggs with red onion confit and whole grain mustard mayonnaise
Rice pudding parfait with fresh strawberries, honey and citrus
Smoked pork belly, stewed beans, roasted tomatillo & poblano pepper salsa, poached egg & grilled Billy Bread

Featured Beers

Hardywood Mocha Beglique (Secco Beer Breakfast version)
chocolate porter brewed with locally-roasted coffee, aged in Virginia whiskey barrels and poured from a 5 gallon pin spiked with a pound of SECCO blend Lamplighter coffee. 7.2% ABV

Evil Twin Biscotti Break
porter made with espresso, vanilla and toasted almonds. 7.5% ABV

This is a non-ticketed event and all items are served a la carte. Seating will be done on a first come, first served basis. Email or call (804)353-0670 to get reservations for parties of five to eight.  Keep in mind that Secco’s size means the smaller your party, the quicker they will be able accommodate you. 

Secco Wine Bar
2933 W. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23221
(804) 353-0670

Two Richmond Big Brew Spots For 2012

Saturday, May 5th, marks the 11th annual Big Brew Day sanctioned by the American Homebrewers Association. Homebrewers from around the  world choose from predetermined recipes to brew on that day.  This year’s recipes are an American Brown Ale and a Northern English Brown Ale; see the actual recipes here.   

Starting at 9am, Richmond’s local homebrewing club, the James River Homebrewers, will be brewing at two locations this year the The Weekend Brewer in Chester and Original Gravity over on Lakeside Ave.  If you ever wondered about how beer is made, this is a great opportunity and promises to be a great time for all.  So drive on down and join on the fun.  Get there by noon and you may be able to join in on the worldwide toast.

The Weekend Brewer
4205 West Hundred Rd
Chester, VA 23831
(804) 796-9760

Original Gravity
6920 Lakeside Ave.
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 264-4808

RVA Beer Fest Is This Weekend!

This weekend will be super busy for me.  Not only does The Avengers finally come out in theaters Friday but Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. Yes, I am a multi-faceted geek! Ha!

If that was the only thing happening Saturday, it wouldn’t be too bad but there are two big beer events happening this weekend: Big Brew Day 2012, which I’ll talk about later, and RVA Beer Fest!

The RVA Beer Fest seems like a dream that you never thought would happen after the cancellation of Richmond’s second World Beer Festival. Congratulations Richmond, it’s not Brown’s Island but RVA Magazine, Phull Entertainment, and Gallery 5 have pulled together to bring you a two day festival with an amazing selection beers from Brown Distributing, Specialty Beverage, and Loveland.

As it should be on a First Friday in Richmond, Friday May 4th is Taste the Local Night with Virginia breweries taking center stage:

Legend Brewing
Imperial Stout

Starr Hill

Devil Backbone
Belgian Congo
Reilly’s Red Ale

O’Connor Brewing Co.
El Guapo IPA
Great Dismal Black IPA

Roanoke Railhouse Brewery
Track 1
Railhouse IPA

Wolf Hills Brewing
Wolf Den Double IPA
Imperial Stout

Bull & Bones
Sunlit Wit
Maroon Effect

Mocha Belgique

Saturday, May 5th is the big event with regional beers outside along with local beers inside Gallery 5.

Liefman Draft
Oud Bruin

Blue Mountain
Evil 8
Mac Hayden

Dogfish Head
My Antonia
60 Minute IPA

New Belgium
Fat Tire


Heavy Seas
Loose Cannon
Black Cannon

Southern Tier
2X Milk Stout
Hop Sun

Headwaters Pale Ale
Sunrise Weissbier

Double Simcoe IPA
Merry Monks

Cricket Hill
East Coast Lager
Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale

Gaelic Ale
Oatmeal Porter

Duck Rabbit
Milk Stout

Thomas Creek
Class 5 IPA

Samuel Adams
Tasman Red IPA
Dark Depths Baltic IPA
Norse Legend Shati

Wild Wolf
Alpha Ale
Blonde Hunny Ale

Sierra Nevada

Want to be a VIP? Get exclusive beers in Mekong’s Tasting Lounge.

Mekong Tasting Lounge Beer List
J W Lees Harvest Port 2010
Stillwater Premium
Troegs Mad Elf
Avery Mephistopheles
Founders Curmudgeon Keiser
Dogfish Head Noble Rot
Bockor Cuvée de Jacobins

Whoa! Got all those beers down?! Here’s all you need to know for tickets:

Friday Night


Saturday 12pm-6pm
$5  General Admission — Presale Tickets here

Beer Tickets:
2 Ounce Tasting – $1 (tasting ticket)
16 ounce pour – 1 Ticket – $6 (full ticket)

$25 VIP tickets — Upstairs Mekong Tasting Lounge + 5 tasting tickets — Presale Tickets Available Here)

Get more information about bands and food over at the Facebook event.  Are you ready Richmond?